Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Publishing: Book Editors and Book Publishing Are Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Book Editors and Book Publishing Are Like Peanut Butter and Jelly
Why so many authors think that their friend who teaches literature at the local college, or their sister who
loves everything they write and do is the perfect editor for their work is beyond me. Your editor can make or break your work—she can shape and shore it up … or, put in some commas and check your spelling. There are now more self and independent published books than those produced by the traditional NY
houses—and too, too many have minimal, if any, editing. Think “ruthless editing.” Cut and shape, hire a pro—and, when in doubt, cut it out.
Look for an editor who “gets” your topic … it will save you hours in their education. Let them know if there are quirky or unusual phrases or words in the beginning. If all the editor is doing is copy–the grammar and punctuation–he won’t be thinking about what sub-heads and layout should be. Somewhere along the line, authors began to think that editors worked at minimum wage … wrong. You will pay from $25 an hour and up–most are going to come in the $50 an hour range. The cleaner the copy you give them, the less you are going to spend.
Book publishing and editors are like peanut butter and jelly–finding the right combo will enhance your book from the get-go.

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd ( and the Founder of Author U (niversity (, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do “Like” AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at